Allianz HL D1B: Dublin edge out Waterford in thriller
Allianz National Hurling League, Division 1B, Round 4
DUBLIN 1-26 WATERFORD 4-15
By Paul Keane at Parnell Park
Former All-Star Danny Sutcliffe pulled the strings at Parnell Park as Dublin secured their most impressive win yet under Mattie Kenny, holding firm to see off Waterford in Division 1B.
The hosts winced as a five-point lead after 45 minutes turned into a one-point deficit entering stoppage time but displayed all their character to deny the Deise in thrilling circumstances.
Dublin ultimately outscored the 2017 All-Ireland finalists by 0-4 to 0-1 in the closing minutes to win, with all four points coming from Oisin O'Rorke who hit 0-11 overall.
There was more drama at the death when Waterford, trailing by two points, failed to convert a penalty with Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan getting down low to block Stephen Bennett's shot.
It was tough on Bennett who'd already scored 2-7 as the Munster outfit chased a fourth consecutive win.
Sutcliffe was terrific for Dublin, scoring four points and dropping deep in the second-half to steer his team home while Liam Rushe scored their only goal.
Waterford struck 9-65 in total in their previous three games, wins over Offaly, Laois and Carlow, though found Dublin a far tougher nut to crack.
The hosts, beaten by six points in Galway in Round 3 following wins over Carlow and Offaly, took the game to Waterford from the off and scored after just 10 seconds on the way to a 0-14 first-half tally.
The powerful John Hetherton gave Dublin an aerial presence in attack and the St Vincent's man scored one terrific point after plucking a ball out of the sky.
Sutcliffe was excellent too and scored three first-half points while he also laid one on for Chris Crummey and got through a tonne of good work.
Caolan Conway was the only Dublin forward that didn't get on the scoresheet in the opening 35 minutes as seven different players in total split the posts.
Waterford only scored six times in the half but three of those were goals which kept them right there in the contest.
Stephen Bennett couldn't believe his luck for the first when his miscued long free in somehow evaded goalkeeper Nolan and dropped in.
Thomas Ryan got the second after sneaking through the centre of the Dublin defence after a long ball in and bundling the ball by Nolan.
Shane Bennett, Waterford's liveliest forward in the first-half, scored their third major in the 26th minute when picked out close to goal with a clever one-handed stick pass by Stephen Bennett.
That goal put Waterford 3-1 to 0-7 ahead but Dublin responded impressively, reeling off four stunning points from Crummey, Sutcliffe, Hetherton and Eamonn Dillon.
The 2011 league champions kept the intensity up until the break with further points from Sutcliffe, Oisin O'Rorke and Crummey and led 0-14 to 3-3.
Dublin stretched the gap with points from O'Rorke and Hetherton after the restart before Waterford upped the ante.
They pushed on with a flurry of points from Jamie Barron, Stephen Bennett, Jack Prendergast, Ryan and Kevin Moran to level it up after 52 minutes, 3-11 to 1-17.
They were level three more times in the run in and Waterford moved clear late on but Dublin came out on top thanks to O'Rorke's excellence from placed balls and that late, late Nolan save.
Dublin scorers: Oisin O'Rorke 0-11 (0-8f, 0-1 65), Liam Rushe 1-1, Eamonn Dillon 0-4, Danny Sutcliffe 0-4, Chris Crummey 0-2, John Hetherton 0-2, Shane Barrett 0-1, Fergal Whitely 0-1.
Waterford scorers: Stephen Bennett 2-7 (1-7f), Shane Bennett 1-2, Thomas Ryan 1-1, Jamie Barron 0-2, Kevin Moran 0-2, Jack Prendergast 0-1.
DUBLIN: Alan Nolan; Darragh O'Connell, Eoghan O'Donnell, Paddy Smyth; Chris Crummey, Sean Moran, Shane Barrett; Daire Gray, Riain McBride; Caolan Conway, Danny Sutcliffe, Eamonn Dillon; John Hetherton, Liam Rushe, Oisin O'Rorke. Subs: Tomas Connolly for Barrett 49, Sean Treacy for Gray 49, Jake Malone for McBride 53, Fergal Whitely for Treacy 56, Donal Burke for Conway 64.
WATERFORD: Billy Nolan; Shane McNulty, Conor Prunty, Noel Connors; Callum Lyons, Austin Gleeson, Kevin Moran; Jamie Barron, Mark O'Brien; Jack Prendergast, Stephen Roche, DJ Foran; Sahne Bennett, Stephen Bennett, Thomas Ryan. Subs: Michael Walsh for Foran h/t, Mikey Kearney for O'Brien h/t, Philip Mahony for Lyons 53, Jordan Henley for Prunty 58, Pauric Mahony for Prendergast 61.
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary).